Thursday, September 11, 2014

Morrowind Day 102 - To Solstheim

25 Sun's Dusk
Today was not a particularly eventful day. I made up my mind last night to (unfortunately) take the boat from Khuul to the island of Solstheim. The walk to Khuul was also the best opportunity I would have to re-visit the shrine of Mehrunes Dagon and see what reward the Daedric Prince would offer for the rusty, blunted dagger I found in the tomb he sent me to.

I was still greeted by a Blight storm when I left my Ald'ruhn home. I can only hope that the late Dagoth Ur's magic is eventually spent and these storms die off completely. What else can I do about it now?
Perhaps the magic is already diminishing, for the size of the storm was much less than I expected it to be. It had disappeared completely by the time I was halfway to Khuul even though I was still very close to Ghostfence. 

The ruin housing Mehrunes Dagon's shrine is Vvardenfell's closest landmark to Solstheim and the island can just barely be seen across the water on a clear day, such as today was. I would have been tempted to try walking across the water just to spare myself another boat ride if the thought of running out of magicka in the middle of the sea were not so terrifying, 
Opposition inside of the shrine was slim: a Dremora of some kind and a Daedroth. Once I had the ruin all to myself I wielded the dagger and stepped towards the shrine, not sure what I was supposed to do next. The Daedric Prince's voice suddenly erupted from the statue's head, crowing about all the pain and blood I would be spreading across the land with the Prince's gift. As soon as he said this, I felt a slight electrical shock in my hand.

The decrepit dagger I had been holding just moments before had been turned into something resembling a silvered Daedric dagger. The Prince spoke no more and I decided not to tell him that his dreams of pain and blood were not to be realized, for I was more likely to stash this dagger at the bottom of a chest than to wield it. Repairing Daedric equipment is simply too expensive and I am skilled enough in the use of cheaper weapons to make them just as effective anyway.

I was concerned about sinking into the middle of the sea while walking to Solstheim, but had no such concern for walking along the coast back to Khuul. It was quicker than hiking back across the land and I feel a little stupid for not having thought of walking to Mehrunes Dagon via the water in the first place.

According to the nervous mage at Ald'ruhn, my contact for a trip to Solstheim was, surprisingly, a Khajiit named S'virr. He is in the business of ferrying passengers and small amounts of goods to the frozen island, mostly on behalf of the Empire's garrison there, but I have no doubt the Khajiit is smuggling on the side as well. For a relatively extravagant fee of thirty Septims he was willing to let me join him on his next trip, which was coincidentally going to be occurring half an hour after I met him. His destination is always the Imperial garrison of Fort Frostmoth, entry and exit point for the settlers and adventurers steadily picking away at the island.

To be fair, sitting on the crate proved to be more comfortable than any silt strider and the waters were placid the whole way there. While it looked to me as though I could have walked there from the ruin, the currents flowing between the two islands forces S'virr to first sail away from his destination, only to turn around somewhere east of the island in the middle of the sea so that he can catch a current that encircles the island. I shall never understand the ways of the sea.
As a result, it was deep into the night when I finally stepped off of his boat and on to Solstheim. Fort Frostmoth loomed directly ahead of me, but I spent a few moments speaking with some settlers waiting near the docks. One of the settlers was 'Basks-In-The-Sun', an Argonian and S'virr's business partner. He described the place as "the jewel of absolutely nowhere", rather similar to how Morrowind as a whole was regarded way back in the Auxiliaries. Possibly a good omen, possibly a bad one. 'Basks-In-The-Sun' offered a trip back to Vvardenfell, as well as one to a small village called 'Raven Rock' where a mine was under construction. 

One of the settlers helpfully provided two names for me to start with: Carnius Magius, overseer of the Imperial colony on the island and the similarly named Captain Carius, Commander of the Imperial garrison. Neither sounded likely to be able to help me with the lost airship that brought me here.

The fort is very similar to Fort Moonmoth outside of Balmora. A Khajiit just inside offered to sell me leggings made from bear hide that he modified for use by Khajiit and Argonian adventurers. He recommended them as protection against the cold as much as against the hostility of the beasts and monsters that wandered in the wilderness. I was more intent on finding some place to sleep than I was for shopping so I declined his offer for now.

My sleeping arrangement wound up being a small cot in the corner of the Imperial Cult's barracks area. A far cry from my own home and certainly from my own manor, but I do believe I have slept in far worse places than this.

An unexplored land lies before me and I have no knowledge or expectation of this place. It is an exciting feeling and I am very much looking forward to my time here, cold though it may be.

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